DOF to hold tax reform awareness forum Wednesday
The Department of Finance (DOF) will conduct a forum this Wednesday to heighten public awareness of, and support for, the Duterte administration’s proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN).
Some 300 participants are expected to attend the event, titled “1 with the 99: A Forum on Tax Reform,” that will be held at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel on July 5 starting at 9 am, a statement by the Department of Finance said Sunday.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is expected to deliver the opening remarks.
According to a report presented at the recent DOF Executive Committee Meeting, the July 5 forum will coincide with the online launching of a video clip showcasing the benefits of tax reform for call center employees.
Video teasers on the proposed TRAIN wlll also be shown at MRT and LRT stations and MMDA info boards to broaden the information and support campaigns for tax reform.
The event dubbed “1 with the 99” alludes to the TRAIN’s intended beneficiaries?99 percent of taxpayers, including the working and middle class such as teachers, clerks, call center agents, police officers, soldiers and medical personnel?and the top 1 percent comprising the richest households who will help invest in the country’s future by paying higher taxes.
“We would like our fellow Filipinos to know more about how this priority program of President (Rodrigo) Duterte would benefit them. We will tell them that this tax reform package is truly pro-Filipino and pro-poor that will help fund the Duterte administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda for high?and inclusive?growth,” Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.
“This is an investment of each one of us in our country’s stable and vibrant future,” he said.
According to Chua, the forum will be followed by a sustained campaign bia social media and on the streets through billboards and banners “to further generate appreciation of, and support for, the tax reform program.”
The DOF, represented by Chua and Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Paola Alvarez, will explain at the forum how the TRAIN is expected to help fund the “DuterteNomics” strategy of enabling the government to sustain the Philippines’ growth momentum, support the golden age of infrastructure, attract investments and create jobs, achieve economic inclusion and transform the Philippines into a high middle-income country by 2022, by which time poverty incidence will have been reduced to 14 percent.
If “DuterteNomics” is sustained over the medium term, the government envisions the Philippines to be a high-income economy in one generation or by 2040.
DOF Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven will explain the measures being implemented by the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) to improve tax collection and administration and curb official corruption.
The proposed TRAIN or House Bill Non 5636 was approved on third and final reading by a 246-9 vote with one abstention last May 31 by the House of Representatives before the Congress went on sine die adjournment.
HB 5636 is a consolidation of the original tax reform bill?HB 4774?filed by Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, and 54 other tax-related measures. TRAIN is the first package of Duterte’s proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP).
HB 5636 was passed after Duterte had certified the bill as urgent, given that it was designed to help provide a steady revenue stream to his government’s ambitious high?and inclusive?growth agenda anchored on record spending on infrastructure, human capital and social protection for the poor and other vulnerable sectors.
The bill aims to slash personal income tax rates, lower donor’s and estate taxes, and, at the same time, adjust the excise taxes on fuel and automobiles, broaden the value-added tax base and implement a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages among other measures. DMS